Author Topic: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars  (Read 17129 times)

Offline Eric Hedman

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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #1 on: 11/21/2018 02:58 am »
Bill Nye doesn't think anyone will live on Mars permanently:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/11/19/bill-nye-mars-were-not-going-live-there-make-like-earth/1905447002/
Yeah and he used the antarctica analogy. ::) I don't know why people don't see the obvious flaw in that analogy, but we had a massive thread on almost just that and I think changed no one's mind.

Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson are both pretty wet on the idea. Elon Musk is pretty enthusiastic. We can probably find some other supergenius on the pro side.

I didn't see any new arguments in that piece. Im not religious about mars myself but what I most object to was the "we can't even fix problems on earth" trope. I think a mars project, even a small one, could do a lot better at genuinely acing alternative energy and recycling goals, and proving how to live sustainably anywhere, including right here,  than all the politicians on earth. At the same time progress on earth will greatly help any Mars goals.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #2 on: 11/21/2018 03:13 am »
reads like a creationist.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #3 on: 11/21/2018 03:25 am »
Clarke's First, Second, and "Fourth" Laws apply here, IMO:

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

"For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert, but for every fact there is not necessarily an equal and opposite fact."
***

IMHO, neither Bill Nye nor NdGT would be my "go-to experts" on humanity becoming an interplanetary society.

First, no human with that pool of knowledge and experience yet lives.

Secondly, these gentleman are very, very smart in their fields of expertise, but there are others who have pondered more, and more deeply, on the endeavor.  And, then, have performed, or are performing, their bit towards achieving said goal.

:)
« Last Edit: 11/21/2018 03:29 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Online sanman

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #4 on: 11/21/2018 07:34 am »
If we were living back in the pre-ElonMusk era (B.E.?) then Bill Nye's arguments might sound a lot more convincing. But nowadays, it seems almost inevitable that humanity will be returning to the Moon, as well as getting to Mars - people aren't arguing over "if", but "when".

I think that Bill Nye is, in his own sly way, trying to provoke people into proving him wrong. He's making a Devil's Advocate argument, in order to get people to push back in the opposite direction. By linking humanity's yearning for a spacefaring future to the matters of cleaning our own house and solving the problems of home, perhaps he's exhorting us humans to do a little more on the homefront.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #5 on: 11/21/2018 07:55 am »
If we were living back in the pre-ElonMusk era (B.E.?) then Bill Nye's arguments might sound a lot more convincing. But nowadays, it seems almost inevitable that humanity will be returning to the Moon, as well as getting to Mars - people aren't arguing over "if", but "when".

I think that Bill Nye is, in his own sly way, trying to provoke people into proving him wrong. He's making a Devil's Advocate argument, in order to get people to push back in the opposite direction. By linking humanity's yearning for a spacefaring future to the matters of cleaning our own house and solving the problems of home, perhaps he's exhorting us humans to do a little more on the homefront.
I think you're giving him too much credit.  I think because he can't imagine himself going to Mars to live that he doesn't think other people really want to either.  Opening a new world to settlement is the human experience.  As our ancestors spread around the planet taking risky voyages, there were enough people with the explorer gene to make it happen.  It isn't everyone who has it.  It sounds like Bill Nye definitely doesn't have it.  I think there are more than enough people to make it happen.

Online sanman

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #6 on: 11/21/2018 05:43 pm »
I think you're giving him too much credit.  I think because he can't imagine himself going to Mars to live that he doesn't think other people really want to either.  Opening a new world to settlement is the human experience.  As our ancestors spread around the planet taking risky voyages, there were enough people with the explorer gene to make it happen.  It isn't everyone who has it.  It sounds like Bill Nye definitely doesn't have it.  I think there are more than enough people to make it happen.

And yet isn't Bill Nye the head of the Planetary Society, who also writes for Universe Today?

http://www.planetary.org/about/staff/bill-nye.html
https://www.universetoday.com/tag/bill-nye/

I thought the whole point of the Planetary Society is to maintain an interest in exploring other planets.

Offline speedevil

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #7 on: 11/21/2018 06:01 pm »
Quote
I thought the whole point of the Planetary Society is to maintain an interest in exploring other planets.
It has historically been a reasonable position to take that unmanned exploration is the vastly more cost efficient route, and manned exploration has limited benefit.
Spending another billion on a new curiosity rover would tell us far more about other planets than spending a billion on LOPG.

However, if it's plausible to get men on Mars/the Moon for that billion, ...

Online sanman

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #8 on: 11/21/2018 08:26 pm »
Just a quick excerpt from the article:

Quote
For starters, he points to Antarctica, where scientists are stationed even during the harsh winter months but no one lives permanently. "Nobody goes to Antarctica to raise a family. You don't go there and build a park, there's just no such thing."

"Nobody's gonna go settle on Mars to raise a family and have generations of Martians," Nye said. "It's not reasonable because it's so cold. And there is hardly any water. There's absolutely no food, and the big thing, I just remind these guys, there's nothing to breathe."

Plus living in a dome, then putting on a spacesuit to go outside will get tiring fast.

"When you leave your dome, you're gonna put on another dome, and I think that will get old pretty quick," he said. "Especially the smell in the spacesuit all the Febreze you can pack, I think it will really help you up there."

But Nye is still in favor of astronauts traveling to the Red Planet.

So just to make a small distinction, Bill Nye does still want to see humans on Mars - he just doesn't believe it can be permanently settled.

Well, if humanity can at least achieve on Mars what it's already done with Antarctica in terms of having manned bases, then that's still quite an accomplishment - at least for the medium term.

It can be argued that it's not safe or ethical to attempt full-blown colonization of Mars until there's a deep infrastructure in place to make it genuinely livable. This shouldn't require terraforming to do that, of course -- but it's nice to think that future Mars explorers and colonists alike would still harbor the dream of somehow making Mars more Earth-like.


That interview with Bill Nye follows closely on the heels of a recent talk hosted by the Washington Post, which featured Bill Nye, Dr Heidi Hammel, and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, where they talk about the future of planetary & space exploration:

« Last Edit: 11/21/2018 08:26 pm by sanman »

Online Slarty1080

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #9 on: 11/21/2018 09:08 pm »
One big deciding factor concerning habitability will be the effect of 38% gravity on human reproduction. Until that issue is resolved it will remain an open question. If there are major issues then it will never happen. If there arn't then it will be more a question of when rather than if. A few decades, many decades, a few centuries or many centuries.
The first words spoken on Mars: "Humans have been wondering if there was any life on the planet Mars for many decades well ... there is now!"

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #10 on: 11/21/2018 09:27 pm »
One big deciding factor concerning habitability will be the effect of 38% gravity on human reproduction. Until that issue is resolved it will remain an open question. If there are major issues then it will never happen. If there arn't then it will be more a question of when rather than if. A few decades, many decades, a few centuries or many centuries.

Compared to the momentous challenge of bootstrapping industrial civilization on another world, that's a minor inconvenience. To be clear, no-one with a lick of sense says the settlement of space will be easy.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online sanman

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #11 on: 11/21/2018 10:06 pm »
One big deciding factor concerning habitability will be the effect of 38% gravity on human reproduction. Until that issue is resolved it will remain an open question. If there are major issues then it will never happen. If there arn't then it will be more a question of when rather than if. A few decades, many decades, a few centuries or many centuries.

Compared to the momentous challenge of bootstrapping industrial civilization on another world, that's a minor inconvenience. To be clear, no-one with a lick of sense says the settlement of space will be easy.

By "reproduction", this presumably includes gestation and growth all the way upto adulthood/physical-maturity. Psychological effects aside, would kids who grew up in lower Martian gravity end up taller and ganglier like "human giraffes"? Would they have bone-density problems?

If a rotating station with 1-Earth-G of artificial gravity were put in Mars orbit, maybe that could be a place for colonists to stay until their baby is born. But that presumes that artificial rotational gravity is sufficiently identical to Earth gravity so as to not cause any problems to fetal development. Also, the orbital station would have to be sufficiently shielded against cosmic radiation.
« Last Edit: 11/21/2018 10:08 pm by sanman »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #12 on: 11/21/2018 11:00 pm »
By "reproduction", this presumably includes gestation and growth all the way upto adulthood/physical-maturity. Psychological effects aside, would kids who grew up in lower Martian gravity end up taller and ganglier like "human giraffes"? Would they have bone-density problems?

We have no idea.

Quote from: sanman
If a rotating station with 1-Earth-G of artificial gravity were put in Mars orbit, maybe that could be a place for colonists to stay until their baby is born.

I imagine a ground facility would be sufficient, and I doubt gestation would matter as much as early infancy, but again, we have no idea.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online sanman

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #13 on: 11/22/2018 01:25 am »
We have no idea.

And therein lies one of the problems for colonization - who's going to guinea pig themselves (and their children)?
There are going to have to be a lot of off-world animal studies.

Quote
I imagine a ground facility would be sufficient, and I doubt gestation would matter as much as early infancy, but again, we have no idea.

Can a whole surface colony be spun as a giant centrifuge? (Maybe using maglev?) Or can you just get by with a few hours per week by visiting the "centrifugal gym"?
« Last Edit: 11/22/2018 01:27 am by sanman »

Online freddo411

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #14 on: 11/22/2018 01:48 am »
I think you're giving him too much credit.  I think because he can't imagine himself going to Mars to live that he doesn't think other people really want to either.  Opening a new world to settlement is the human experience.  As our ancestors spread around the planet taking risky voyages, there were enough people with the explorer gene to make it happen.  It isn't everyone who has it.  It sounds like Bill Nye definitely doesn't have it.  I think there are more than enough people to make it happen.

And yet isn't Bill Nye the head of the Planetary Society, who also writes for Universe Today?

http://www.planetary.org/about/staff/bill-nye.html
https://www.universetoday.com/tag/bill-nye/

I thought the whole point of the Planetary Society is to maintain an interest in exploring other planets.

I think Bill is one of a class of folks.   These folks are in some way involved in the scientific study of Mars.   While they perhaps would enjoy a slightly increased amount of robotic exploration, they really would like to continue to sequester Mars away for the study by the scientific elite, much like it is done now.    You'll find a similar attitude among other natural scientists in their areas of study.   It's fairly understandable that one would like the focus one's life work to remain fairly pristine, as opposed to radically changed into something different.    The really presumptuous part here is that we are talking about an entire planet!

Offline yoram

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #15 on: 11/22/2018 02:41 am »
It's arguable that nobody settles in Antarctica. There have been at least 10 children born at Esperanza base with several families living there. Perhaps that's not a permanent settlement, but at least a temporary one.
Longer term with climate warning settling in Antarctica might get more interesting in fact.


Offline spacenut

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #16 on: 11/22/2018 03:25 am »
I don't think 38% earth gravity will have any effect on fetal development since the baby is in fluid anyway, like a fish in water.  It is after birth and the growth to adulthood phase, that gravity may make it's largest influence. 

Positives, Mars has water, minerals, CO2, slightly longer than 24 hour day which are great for humans.  Other positives, as man colonizes Mars and eventually becomes self sufficient on Mars, things learned on Mars can be applied to earth, such as extensive recycling, solar and wind power advances, new mining techniques, new farming techniques. 

In the 1960's every dollar spent on the space program yielded $100 in new products.  From clothing to new food packaging methods.  It yielded new smaller and better electronics, and advanced computer technology, as well as new materials. 

We don't really know what going to Mars and colonizing Mars will do to advance a multitude of things that could be used to improve life on earth. 

Worse case scenario, humans will have to live in orbiting O'Neil colonies around Mars, the moon, or the moons of Jupiter and Mars.  They will then use the planets and moons for raw materials, mining, and manufacturing, rotating out between time on Mars and time at a large O'Neil colony. 

However I'm of the opinion that living on Mars is not impossible, even if they have to rotate out after 4-5 years, to return at middle age after raising children or something to live out their life further expanding the colony.  Engineering problems can be solved, but 38% gravity is still the unknown elephant in the room. 

Offline spacenut

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #17 on: 11/22/2018 03:48 am »
Robots are not going to tell us how something smells or how something feels.  Only sights and sounds.  We have to get boots on the ground.  Only until we get humans on Mars will all the questions begin to be answered.  One can see pictures and sounds of a tropical island.  But until you've been there to smell the air, feel the sun, or the ocean waves, will you really appreciate it.  Pictures and a TV show can't do it service. 

I know we have problems on earth, but we have ALWAYS had problems of some kind on earth.  Only in the industrial age have we overcome climate and have not been dependent on seasons, sun, rain, etc.  We now have massive food production and storage even if one area of the country or world has drought, monsoons, or such to disrupt food supplies.  Transportation solved that problem.  Electricity and massive use of fossil fuels have made our homes 70 degrees year round. 

People on earth will always have problems.  I think space colonists will be like minded no mater where they are from and will work together better in space than on earth, because their survival will depend on it.  They can and will show the way for humans on earth to live and work together in peace. 

Offline zodiacchris

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #18 on: 11/22/2018 03:54 am »
A friend of mine is a professional diver, he does nitrox for weeks living in a tank habitat under pressure, servicing oil and gas submarine pipelines and installations 500 feet down. He is using a dry suit with helmet, and with normal servicing, bad smells are a non issue...

We cant colonise Mars because spacesuits smell? Of all the hypocriticall troll BS weve had, this is pretty rank!  ::)
« Last Edit: 11/22/2018 03:56 am by zodiacchris »

Offline tyrred

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Re: Bill Nye doesn't think we'll colonize Mars
« Reply #19 on: 11/22/2018 08:33 am »
Oh wow.  Like Ive been saying exactly what Bill Nye just argued for years... however I get my posts cut from NSF like Ive been trolling.  So Bill Nye is trolling!

Bill Nye just introduced the thought of what a Mars spacesuit smells like.  Yes.  Bet you cannot get the thought of the smell out of your mind now.  Robotic missions 4 evah.

If you are a person, you smell.  There is no logical fallacy in that statement.

Tags: Mars colony